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Moses Bartram Membership Certificate

Identifier: SC-MS-011

Scope and Contents

This document certifies that Moses Bartram of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania was elected to membership in the American Philosophical Society. It was signed on January 20, 1786, by the Society’s President, Benjamin Franklin; Vice-Presidents John Ewing, William White and Samuel Vaughan; and Secretaries James Hutchinson, John Foulke, and two others.


  • Creation: 1768 January 20 (photocopy)

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use.

Copyright Statement

Copyright retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States  copyright law.

Historical Note

Benjamin Franklin founded the American Philosophical Society in 1743 in Philadelphia, patterning it after the Royal Society of London. Its purpose was the promotion of the study of science and the practical arts of agriculture, engineering, trades, and manufactures. Subjects of today’s “philosophy” were generally excluded from the societies of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and the word “philosophy” meant to them “love of knowledge”, and was essentially the equivalent of today’s “science”.

Interest in the society waned after the first few years, then sprang up the American Society. Its success revived interest in the American Philosophical Society and eventually the two merged. At their first meeting on January 2, 1769, Benjamin Franklin was elected their president, and was re-elected annually until his death in 1790, even though he was frequently absent in Europe.


1.00 Folder (Contains 1 folder)

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Acquisition Information

This photocopy was made of the original document owned by Spotswood Hunt which he loaned to William Madison Randall Library for an exhibit in May 1969.

Other Descriptive Information

This item is a photocopy of the original document.

Processing Information

In 2014, this manuscript collection was re-foldered and re-housed with current archival standard materials by Christine Hockaday.

Genre / Form

Moses Bartram Membership Certificate
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Repository Details

Part of the Randall Library Special Collections Repository